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Sweet And Spicy Sesame Chicken

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coconut sesame chicken dun2

I used to love Chinese takeout… before I realized how unhealthy most of it is. These days, if we order in food at my house it’s never Chinese food because I can’t find any that doesn’t make me feel bad after I eat it. This recipe tastes as good as any Chinese takeout and has nothing in it that will make you feel bad after you eat.

The sauce  is made from coconut milk and raw honey — two things that are great for you. Coconut is probably the ingredient I use more than any other. Here, all that’s required is to open a can of organic coconut milk. It’s amazing to me that doing something so easy can give you so many benefits. Coconut reduces inflammation in the body. So many illnesses and discomforts are caused by inflammation/swelling and this is such an easy fix.  Coconut also helps speed up metabolism and can actually help you lose weight.  It is really high in dietary fiber and can actually reduce your cravings for sweets.

Honey is good for all types of dryness in the body. This means it helps if you are experiencing constipation, dry coughs, ulcers, and cold sores. In Chinese medicine, honey is an herb (Feng Mi). It’s main function is to tonify the qi (give you energy). The only time I don’t recommend  honey is if someone has a cold with a lot of phlegm or diarrhea.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are also a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). I used white sesame seeds in this recipe because I couldn’t find my black ones, but the white ones also have many great nutritional benefits. They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and  was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. So, here you have a recipe with both the honey and the sesame seeds… and who doesn’t need a little old fashioned strength?

Cut your organic boneless chicken thighs into bite-size pieces and sauté them in your favorite healthy oil…
cubed chicken thighs cooking beginning pan w oil

When it’s browned on both sides, remove it from the pan and sauté some garlic and onion…
cubed chicken thighs cooking second side pan oil

Add some raw honey…
honey jar

Coconut milk…
IMG_0048

Tamari, Sriracha and spices and bring to a boil…
coconut milk added to pan

Next, whisk in a little arrowroot…
arrowroot jar

And then add the chicken back into the sauce…
chicken cooking in sauce

Stir it around until the chicken is hot and nicely coated and add a lot of sesame seeds (black or white, or both)…
black and white sesame seeds in ramekins

Stir in some sliced scallions…
coconut sesame chicken dun2

And serve it as is or with some cauliflower rice (see post from April 3, 2014): http://www.theresacookinmykitchen.com/ginger-coconut-cauliflower-rice-grain-free/#sthash.zXRmlLx3.dpbs
coconut sesame chicken dun farther

Sweet And Spicy Sesame Chicken
(serves 3-4)

1-1/4 lb. organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
sea salt and black pepper
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
3 Tbs raw honey, melted
1/4 cup tamari
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 Tbs Sriracha
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 Tbs arrowroot
1/4 cup sesame seeds (black or white, or both)
1 scallion, sliced

Season the chicken with sea salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbs oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add as much chicken as you can fit in one layer without the pieces touching each other and cook until both sides are browned and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add remaining Tbs of oil and repeat with rest of chicken. Remove this batch of chicken to the plate when it is done.

Add onion and garlic to the oil left in the pan. Stir for 1-minute.

Add honey, tamari and coconut milk to the onions and garlic. Stir, bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer 1-minute. Stir in Sriracha and turmeric. Make sure the sauce is boiling slightly, then whisk in the arrowroot. Continue to whisk until there are no lumps. Let the sauce simmer until slightly thickened, and then add the chicken to the sauce. Stir until the chicken is heated through and is well-coated with the sauce. Turn off the heat and stir in the sesame seeds and the scallions. Enjoy as-is or with some cauliflower rice (http://www.theresacookinmykitchen.com/ginger-coconut-cauliflower-rice-grain-free/#sthash.zXRmlLx3.dpbs).

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